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The low coolant message came on maybe 6 months ago while driving in heavy rush hour traffic south bound on GA400- I was in the left lane and could not immediately get over. At first it was intermittent depending on whether I was going up or down an incline on the freeway so I thought it wasn't that low and kept driving and the engine temp stayed normal. It eventually stayed on and I traveled maybe 5 miles total highways speeds before pulling off and after letting it down cool enough to top off the expansion tank with water. I immediately noticed dark spots as I was topping it off but lighting was very poor and my flashlight was dead. I made it home without the low coolant message coming on again and drove it to the dealer the next morning. The dealer reported there is definitely oil in the coolant. They reported the coolant leak was due to the thermostat housing unit and replaced it. * My coolant consumption has stopped.* The car had been slowly loosing coolant prior to that night requiring top offs maybe every 30 days-I should have had it diagnosed immediately.

I have had the coolant system flushed 3X since then and the last 2X switched to Propylene Glycol (non-toxic, shouldn't eat engine metal) Anti-Freeze to mitigate any wear issues in case coolant pushes into the engine oil. So far it only looks like oil is pushing into the coolant. I have had to top off 3/4 a quart of 10W30 Mobil 1 EP in @4000 miles.

The car runs fines and has this way for 6 months, no excessive steam at start up, no hesitation. I plan to keep driving it for now and monitoring - I may send an oil sample off to Blackstone Labs to see if they can identify excess coolant in the engine oil.

The only issue I have had is recently with the temperature drop in GA I received the error for the code P0128, "coolant temperature below thermostat regulating temperature", stored 2X. I did visually notice before the Check Engine Light lit the temperature gauge had not moved as much as normal during the 1st mile of my morning commute. I guessed I had too much water mixed with the Propylene Glycol and siphoned the expansion tank and topped off with straight Propylene Glycol Anti-Freeze. I did this 2X over 2 days and now a week later the code hasn't recurred.

*Anyone have any recent estimates/bills from a Volvo dealer for replacing the head gasket on their R ?

Coincidentally 6 months ago when having the thermostat housing replaced there was a Volvo S60R having a new engine installed at North Point Volvo due to overheating causing a blown head AND cracked cylinder walls. They thought it was just a head gasket when they started on it The service adviser talked to me about while discussing the oil showing up in my coolant.

This is all on top of the noisy alternator that needs to be replaced and the propeller shaft and 4C struts I replaced about 3 months ago. I have had this car less then 18 months IIRC. I wish I had bought a newer CPO S80 T6 or V8 now or a 2007 S60R. Mine is a 2005 with @104,500 miles now.
 

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I would suggest a coolant carbon test, it lets you know if combustion gasses are making their way into your coolant. You can dodo it yourself without tools and the kit costs around $35 on e-bay
 
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